Playing with a chance to take over the lead in the Dunn-St. Croix Conference halfway through the season, the Elk Mound boys struggled offensively as they lost 57-50 to Mondovi at home Jan. 20, then lost a real barn burner—and heart wrenching—game to Elmwood-Plum City 50-49, again on their home court three days later.
Elk Mound started slow, falling behind 12-6 after the first quarter but managed to stay close to the Buffaloes, who are in a three way tie for first place in the D-SC, by scoring 16 second quarter points. Brandon Bohl had the hot hand, nailing a trio of triples to go with four points by Justin Erpenbach, two by Colin Svee and one from Noah Zurbuchen, leaving the Mounders down 26-22 at the intermission.
With Erpenbach hitting from close range three times, Cole Tyman adding five points on a deuce and a trey and Alex Hollister adding a two point shot, the Mounders closed the gap to two points at 37-35 entering the final quarter. Bohl was still on fire as he drained three more shots from downtown and Svee, Tyman and Erpenbach all added deuces but the Buffs spent a lot of time at the charity stripe the last quarter as six different players connected on 13 of 14 freebies to help hold the Mounders at bay. Mondovi was 20 of 25 from the charity stripe in the game while Elk Mound was two for four.
“We didn’t execute well enough on the offensive end of the floor to win,” Mounder coach Chris Hahn said. “I give a lot of credit to Mondovi because they moved the ball well and made shots. We fouled too often and had too many unforced errors. It’s difficult to win games when we give the other team so many extra opportunities,” he added.
Bohl scored all 18 of his points on six triples to lead both teams while Erpenbach added 14.
MONDOVI (57) H. Ford 4-5-6-16, B. Purdy 3-6-6-12, G. Poeschel 3-0-0-9, J. Ede 1-5-6-8, S. Hayes 2-2-3-6, C. Berg 1-0-0-2, C. Kamla 0-2-2-2, C. Dregney 1-0-0-2
ELK MOUND (50) Bohl 6-0-0-18, Erpenbach 6-2-4-14, Svee 0-4-4-4, Zurbuchen 1-1-3-3, Hollister 1-0-0-2
THREE POINTERS: Bohl 6, Poeschel 3, Ford 3,Tyman 1, Ede 1
The Wolves must have found a four leaf clover under the snow somewhere last week, after beating Colfax by a single point and doing the same to the Mounders. Elk Mound held a 12-9 first quarter lead with four players all scoring three points including Dane Lew and Tyman with a trey each and Hollister and Erpenbach both hitting a deuce and free throw.
Tyman added five second quarter points on a deuce and a triple while Bohl drained his own trey and the teams went into the intermission with the Mounders up 20-17. Elk Mound exploded for 17 third quarter points in the low scoring game when Lew, after returning from a broken leg last fall, canned a trio of triples to help expand the Mounders’ lead to 37-28 with just a quarter left to play.
But it was E-PCs turn to go on a scoring binge as they came up with 22 fourth quarter points while holding the Mounders to 12. Elk Mound was down by two points late in the game but Tyman hit a big shot from behind the arc to put his team up by a point with 12 seconds left. The Wolves then scored with a second left to preserve the win.
“I was happy with the way we defended their final shot but the E-PC player made an incredibly tough shot,” coach Hahn said. “We had a nice lead going into the fourth quarter but we got a little tight. I was proud of our effort tonight and I thought we played some great basketball for about three and a half quarters. We gave E-PC too many extra opportunities in the fourth quarter and allowed them to close the gap. We are playing better and we are beginning to get healthy and are playing well together. We are excited for the rest of the season,” he added.
Tyman scored 14 points with four triples to lead the Mounders while Lew added 12 points, on four of his own three point shots. Elk Mound was eight for 17 from the foul line and E-PC was just two for three. Nash Gilles had a career high 24 points for the Wolves.
ELMWOOD-PLUM CITY (50) Gilles 11-0-0-24, A. Boyer 4-0-0-11, L. Wolf 4-2-2-10, N. Wells 1-0-0-3, N. Bechel 1-0-1-2
ELK MOUND (49) Tyman 5-0-2-14, Lew 4-0-0-12, Hollister 2-4-6-8, Erpenbach 2-3-7-7, Bohl 2-0-0-5, Svee 1-1-2-3
THREE POINTERS: Lew 4, Tyman 4,Boyer 3, Gilles 2, Bohl 1, Wells 1